A crowd watches projections on water

Joanie Lemercier's Millennium Constellations, part of the 5G Layered Reality weekend. Photo by Jack Offord.

Peering with Watershed

Watershed has creativity, technology and networking at its core. This page explores its history and why it has an open peering policy on LINX LON1

Watershed was founded in 1982 as Britain's first Media Centre. In 1999 an experimental 155Mb ATM network was installed which kickstarted a change in direction, and Watershed started exploring the intersection between arts, technology and society.

Collaboration has been the key to unlocking the potential of technology, and this ethos has enabled Watershed to grow into a national and international leader in creative technology.

Watershed has found that artists and technologists are always trying to push technology to its limits, in ways which are hard to predict. We therefore try to create a flexible and highly specced IT environment where we can support whatever is thrown at us. Part of this is ensuring high speed, low latency connectivity to as many places as possible.

See A Technical History of Watershed below for some examples of what Watershed has achieved.

We would very much like to peer widely, from small research networks to the larger providers, to enable our research and collaborations to continue and expand. Details are on our PeeringDB page.

Please contact noc@watershed.co.uk if you are interested in peering.

A Technical History of Watershed

  • 1999: Experimental 155Mb ATM network installed, which kick-started our journey into creative technology
  • 2002: Became a founding member of BMEX, a Bristol-wide LAN, which connected media organisations with each other and the internet
  • 2003: Watershed's café became the first in Bristol to offer free wifi (at a whopping 10Mb symmetric)
  • 2004: Collaborated with HP Labs in Frenchay to experiment with their new concept of "utility computing", and produced the world's first cloud-rendered animated films
  • 2008: Opened the Pervasive Media Studio to explore the challenges around art, creative technology, academia and entrepreneurship. The studio remains a vital part of Watershed's mission to foster international collaboration in a wide range of practices
  • 2015: Joined IX Cardiff as part of a drive to increase our connectivity and potential for collaboration
  • 2017: Two mixed-reality games developed in the Studio ended up being Christmas hits on the shelves of the Apple store: Beasts of Balance and MekaMon
  • 2018: Supported the opening of the Bristol VR Lab, a new studio dedicated to exploring all forms of mixed reality. The VR Lab is particularly bandwidth-hungry!
  • 2018: Produced the UK's first public demonstrations of 5G technologies, in collaboration with University of Bristol's Smart Internet Lab
  • 2018: Joined LINX's LON1 (Juniper) LAN